More Than 400,000 Women In Tennessee Live In Contraceptive Deserts

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According to data released by Power to Decide, an estimated 405,580 women living at or below 250% of the poverty level in Tennessee live in contraceptive deserts, counties in which there is not reasonable access to a health center offering the full range of contraceptive methods.

“More than 400,000 women in Tennessee who are struggling to make ends meet are faced with barriers to accessing the contraception they need and deserve in order to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child,” said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO, Power to Decide

According to data released by Power to Decide, an estimated 405,580 women living at or below 250% of the poverty level in Tennessee live in contraceptive deserts, counties in which there is not reasonable access to a health center offering the full range of contraceptive methods. Nationally, more than 19 million U.S. women in need live in contraceptive deserts.

“More than 400,000 women in Tennessee who are struggling to make ends meet are faced with barriers to accessing the contraception they need and deserve in order to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child,” said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO, Power to Decide. “Women who live in contraceptive deserts are faced with the untenable costs for transportation, child care and taking unpaid time off from work just to access basic health care.”

In this challenging landscape, states like Tennessee can take proactive steps to expand access to contraception in various ways. Tennessee has already enacted a state policy that allows pharmacists to prescribe contraception. Expanding Medicaid to childless adults would help decrease the percentage of uninsured women, and by extension, give them contraceptive coverage. In addition, other policies that would help include requiring insurance to cover an extended supply of prescription contraceptives and protecting insurance coverage of the full range of contraceptive methods. More information about these policies can be found here.

Power to Decide is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to ensure all people—no matter who they are, where they live or what their economic status might be—have the power to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child. Please visit us at http://www.PowerToDecide.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Paloma Zuleta
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